Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To India with Love

Lately I've had a few chats about my longing desire to visit India. It usually results in the other person[s] sharing horror stories, regurgitating vile third-party experiences, and positively declaring I surely don't want to travel there [said cloyingly] because it's "not clean." I know it's a developing nation. I know I'll likely see—and smell—things I never envisioned in my wildest dreams. I know it's not going to be an Eloise In Paris expedition. But my heart couldn't be hungrier.

In addition to braving this apparently controversial country firsthand, Assouline's hardbound homage to India is high on my list of wishes. With contributors like Wes Anderson, Adrien Brody, Cynthia Rowley, Matthew Williamson, Rachel Roy and Padma Lakshmi, To India with Love will not only serve as a scrapbook and tribute to the world's second most populous country, but profits will help support families affected by the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

30 comments:

mrs boo radley said...

Looks fascinating...I will put it on my list. Thanks for sharing!

Frau said...

Courtney
I follow this blog and she has changed my mind about visiting India.
http://lostandfoundinindia.blogspot.com/

ashlee said...

I also want to travel to India. And I too get the grueling, and I'm sure oft exaggerated, tales of why I'm a little crazy for wanting such things. I know I'm crazy for other reasons, but I'm glad it's not this one!

There was this extraordinarily intriguing article in a rather old National Geographic I read about a woman who rode with camel herders (around India, I thought...) and ever since then, I have wanted desperately to do the same thing.

And you're absolutely correct. Wes Anderson doesn't help anything. :)

If I can figure out what the article was and find it online somewhere, I will send it your way!

Anna said...

I have traveled to India twice and all I can say is go for it!! You will fall in love with India!!! It's actually not third world, it's second world so they have an infrastructure which works pretty well. You will see things and smell things and hear about things that are difficult, but it will broaden your understanding of the world. The people are so friendly and warm and it's a beautiful country. Plus the shopping is fabulous which is of course a plus. haha. Almost everyone in my family has been and we all just love it.

Yoli said...

Don't you know that you cannot listen to people? Their experiences are their own, filtered through their own lenses. Make up your own mind after visiting a place. Never make up your mind on others's perceptions. I have been to India and I have loved the place, the people and the yes, the smells. Go for it girl.

susan said...

Brett and I are going to India in January and I am SO Ecstatic! Our good friend (who just relocated from Houston to Boston) is marrying a lovely Indian girl and we get to attend their Hindu ceremony (in Kerala) and then travel to Kolkata for their reception. Hopefully we will have the time to stay a little longer and do some traveling on our own. I have wanted to do this for years and their wedding is the perfect excuse for the trip!
Thanks to Frau for the link to the blog and thanks to you for the link to the (new) ink! I am rabidly devouring all things India and trip planning already- My big recommendation to add to the list is the book A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I loved it when I read it the first time,and I am about to pull it out again!

Melissa said...

I have always wanted to visit India as well. Lived soooo close I could have hoped on a plane any minute but never found the time. The one chance I finally had was the same time as the terror attacks last Thanksgiving. Still I would go in a heartbeat if I could. I hope you get to go!!

Lizzie said...

My husband is actually leaving for India on Sunday for work. I'm hoping to tag along with him sometime next year.

TheBeautyFile said...

This book sounds totally fantastic. I definitely want to pick it up...kind of obsessed with the Anderson flick, "The Darjeeling Limited" especially the specially designed LV luggage: orange with elephants....

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I would also love to go to India. I have a friend who told me the same things Anna said in her comment, he loved it! I think anyone with an adventurous side and a thirst to experience and understand other cultures would likely say the same.

You can't imagine how many times my man has watched "The Darjeeling Limited"...every time I hear that music wafting downstairs, I think...AGAIN?

Sonya

Courtney said...

I'm loving everyone's take on this!

Anna: I've done so much reading about India's rapidly growing economy and whether that means they are still "third world" or not. There's so much debate about this online, which I think fuels my desire to experience the country all the more! Nonetheless, I took out the part on being third world because truthfully I've heard some areas are even on par to some first world places...and at the end of the day, I've never liked labeling. So let's go with "developing nation" and I think that's, for sure, something everyone agrees on! Thanks for making me dig more into my research and reading! Also, I would absolutely love to hear where you've been and anything you suggest. We plan on visiting in March for the Holi Festival! xx

Kitty said...

preach it, sister. i'm dying to go there too. my peeps here in the Midwest are a constant barrage of negative warnings. i've always felt like i have india in me and i'm just trying to get back. namaste! kitty.

dancing_in_the_rain said...

I have also always wanted to go to india!

jae said...

one of my best girlfriends is extremely taken and knowledgeable about India...she would visit again in heartbeat. i'm sure that book would be the perfect gift for her. i would be golden for some time!

Shani said...

I have also always wanted to travel to India. One of my best friends went a couple of years ago and fell in love with it! I'm going to email this post to her, she'll love this. Thanks for sharing!

Rose Red said...

Don't let people talk you out if an adventure. Before I went to Thailand I heard the same horror stories, my family really didn't want me to go.

It was one of the most amazing adventures of my life. The smells are assaulting and the amount of poverty is heartbreaking, but the people were so kind and welcoming. It really gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of their culture.

Have a great day :)

Sarah - La Jeune Marie said...

I totally think you should go to India! With awesome luggage like in the Darjeeling Limited film!

Anonymous said...

.... what an awesome book...

India is in my heart. We lived in India in Delhi for three years...... it is the most amazing country and felt very privileged to have been given the chance to live there. My two boys 5 and 8 loved it too.... what a eyey opener for all of us. Warm smiles and warm hearts.
We moved a year ago and now live in Hong Kong and we are still so homesick for our beloved India...... I would move back in a heartbeat......... :)

Vishal Gupta said...

Go with an open mind and you will love India -

Vanessa said...

Right there with you, Courtney! I'd love to go to India, it's one of the places at the top of my list. It's surely extremely different. But isn't that what will make the whole experience so much richer?

Bex said...

I'm delurking to say that I went to India solo about 5 years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The first night I bawled my head off because I was really overwhelmed but by the end of the sixth week I could not fathom leaving. Go, go, go, go! (Have fun!)

Krissy said...

One of my friends spent a few years in India and had an amazing time. Also, there is a good chapter about it in "the geography of bliss" and how the people there are quite happy. hope all is well with you :)

Annao said...

I'm another Anna who has been to India twice - I lived there for a year in college and then again for a year on a fellowship just before I started law school...India isn't for everyone, but the sites, sounds, and smells will open your world and the people will open your heart. There are positives and negatives to be found any place you go; what matters most is the ability to see both.

If and when you go, definitely go to the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad (Gujarat): http://www.calicomuseum.com/Visiting_the_Museum_Galleries.htm

For anyone who appreciates wonderful fabric, this place is a true delight.

Happy Travels,
Anna

beachbungalow8 said...

I've always wanted to go to India. go, go .

*gemmifer* said...

I have dreamed of visiting India for many years now. The art, jewelry, history, textiles, food... so interesting and beautiful. But whenever I mention my desire to friends their responses range from mild disdain to pure horror. One day I'll have the finances to fulfill my dream, and the opinions of others be damned!

h. hart said...

I lived there for 6 months, it was glorious, it is everything you romanticize and imagine it to be and simultaneously totally 100% nothing you could have thought up. It changes everyone who goes...some people just can't see past themselves to open up to it.

Rebecca said...

India is the most amazing place I've ever been! The people are amazing, the colors are captivating, and honestly, the smell isn't that bad. I want to go back so badly I can hardly stand it.

Don't listen to them - just GO! You will come back a changed person.

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

I think getting the itch to go to India is something you should take seriously. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it's time I think you should just go. It changed my life.

xo

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Ooh, I love India! I definitely recommend it. It's beautiful, extremely affordable, and everyone speaks English!

I've been a couple times, so feel free to ask if you'd like any suggestions.

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